FORT WORTH, Texas — Kurt Busch will start first in Sunday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Texas Motor Speedway after his No. 41 Ford was fastest in the first round of qualifying.
After a delay for lightning in the vicinity of the 1.5-mile oval, NASCAR scrubbed the final two rounds of qualifying and set the field off the first round. That put Busch on the pole position for the first time this season and the 23rd time in his career. His No. 41 Ford posted a lap at 197.368 mph.
Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Kevin Harvick will line up second, and Clint Bowyer, who won two weeks ago for SHR at Martinsville Speedway, will start third. Ryan Blaney and Denny Hamlin will round out the top five starting spots.
Rookie William Byron was 33rd after the first round but will start 33rd after changing engines because of a problem in the opening practice. Byron tweeted that his team elected to focus on race setup.